Speed Reads

The times they are a changin'

The military will begin accepting transgender recruits on New Year's Day

The U.S. military will accept openly transgender recruits beginning Monday, Jan. 1, after the Trump Department of Justice dropped its legal challenge to multiple court rulings against President Trump's surprise announcement on Twitter this past July that he would "not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity." Trump's tweets cited "tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail" and reversed an Obama-era schedule for recruitment.

A Pentagon representative said the new policy will proceed as "mandated by court order" and that all "applicants must meet all accession standards." However, the Justice Department also indicated Friday the Defense Department "will be releasing an independent study of these issues in the coming weeks," with the implication the court battle could potentially resume after the report is published.